We upgraded our tired old mountain bikes to e-bikes. We chose the Momentum Transend for the comfort, range and nationwide service centres since we were travelling around the country. We also wanted bikes that were fully street legal since we would be posting up many photos from many areas around the country. To be legal they must have a max assisted speed of 25kmh (you can pedal faster but the motor can’t assist you over 25kmh), the motor can be a maximum of 250 watts (the power rating), and they can not be fitted with a manual accelerator like a motor bike – you must be pedalling for the motor to work (you can have a walk or start assist button that powers it to a max of 6kmh).
These bikes are mid drive, offer 5 levels of assistance and are good for up to 170km when set to automatic assistance level. I usually cheat and have mine on full power, that’s still good for up to 90km. The chargers on these will charge from flat to 80% in 2 hours, full charge in 4 hours. Whilst they don’t have any suspension, they do run 2.75in tyres. Not quite the fat beach tyres, but ample for a bit of cushioning over bumps.
We absolutely love them, now we are able to cruise around without having to worry about the hills! We use to average around 10 to 12km on the old bikes, and were exhausted with legs wobbly at the end. Now we average 30 to 50 km each ride (longest so far 58km) and all that’s sore is the butt!
Weight wise there are around 17kg each, plus another 6kg for the battery.
E-Bike background info
When looking for e-Bikes, I did some research comparing hub drive to mid drive. Hub drive is where the motor is mounted directly into the wheel hub, mid drive is where the motor is mounted at the pedal shaft.
Hub drive are generally cheaper and have less moving parts, however can only use chain gears and as they operate after the gearing can’t make use of the gears for increased torque at the back wheel for hills. Mid drive on the other hand operate the pedals the same as we do, so the motor’s power is fed through the gears to the back wheel. When you drop down to first gear to climb a hill the motors power to the ground is now a lot higher than a hub drive and powers you up long steep hills with ease. Also with the motor at the front the hub is now empty and able to be used for other things, in this example we have 7 speed internal hub gears. So no chain gears to mess with, just a simple single sprocket front and rear.
Another point of differentiation from hub to mid drive is the sensing mechanism to bring on the power. Hub drive use a motion sensor to detect when you are pedalling and turn on the power at the preset level. This quite often comes on with a noticeable jerk forward. When you stop pedalling the motor shuts off instantly. The mid drive (at least on the Momentum bikes) uses a torque sensor in the drive unit to detect how hard you are pedalling. On automatic mode, the harder you pedal, the harder the motor works up to the 250w max. This brings the power on very smoothly and hardly noticeable, also reducing the motor power gracefully when you stop pedalling. If pedalling softly then only a small amount of motor power is used, conserving the battery for longer rides. In manual power settings (from 1 to 5) the motor gently ramps up to full power as soon as you apply pressure on the pedals, the amount of power based on the 1 to 5 setting. Catherine leaves hers on auto all the time for maximum battery time and a bit more exercise. I on the other hand am a little more lazy and usually select 5 for max assistance! It cuts the range down by about a third or more, but my legs feel so much better at the end of a 50km ride!
My only criticism against these is the lack of lighting provided as standard. They contain the wiring and controls for them, just no lights! Consulting the dealer the installation is quite laborious (requires the hub drive unit to be dropped down) and the lights are not cheap. So we have opted for some after market rechargeable lights instead.
Over all impression of these bikes for quality of build, ease of use and fun factor is very high. With Catherine’s bright blue bike we are often stopped and asked about them.
This some of the places we have been so far, click the photos for a better view! For more photos check out the socials where Catherine does her magic with my photos!
UPDATE: A year on what do we think of the bikes? Do we love them or hate them? I will give you a hint, it doesn’t start with an h… Here’s the update post.